What the heck are we doing?

We put our house on the market last night.

Let me make sure the brevity of that sentence is abundantly clear with a little back story. In 2006 my husband and I bought a piece of land on the road that I grew up on… it was a wooded hillside, never developed, and we bought it without walking halfway up. It was location, location, location. This road is well known in our area, it’s gorgeous, and subsequently the land is usually snatched up pretty quick by people with more money than myself. So when this 320 acre farm became available we jumped on it, buying 5.02 acres of wooded hillside for our very own. I was thrilled.

We spent the next year hacking our way through the brush and tangled mess of tree branches to carve out a spot on the side of that hill. That may sound like an exaggeration, but it’s only partially so. The hill had been logged at some point in time, and if you’ve never seen the aftermath of a logging effort it basically consists of all the tops of the trees they cut being left on the ground. It was one gigantic brush pile up there. One beautiful wooded brush pile. So we spent months up there, my husband cutting up fallen trees and me dragging the limbs down the hill. Every evening, every weekend, we were there. We cleared that hill like pioneers laying claim to an untouched piece of property to make it their own. We eventually found a flat spot that was perfect for a house, and built with our own four hands (and some help from family and a few subcontractors) a gorgeous little 1500 square foot wood sided cabin. We then built a platform and an arbor in the yard, and were married in our own yard in 2007.

Over the last seven years we’ve added on a little here and there, we’ve refined our little spot on the hill. We built the most gorgeous little screen porch ever a couple of years ago, it even has a hot tub and a flat screen TV. We have a shop for all our tools, a little building for him to practice music in, plenty of yard for the 3 dogs and the cat to run around, 4 raised garden beds where we attempt to grow things every spring. It’s our bubble… in the summer the trees fill in around us, we can’t see anyone and they can’t see us. In fairness there aren’t any neighbors anyway, but they couldn’t see us if they were there. We spend summer evenings barefoot on the screen porch, him grilling dinner on the deck and listening to Wheel of Fortune on the TV. I tell you, it’s wonderful, I love my little bubble up there on that hill.

So, as I was saying… we put our house on the market last night. Why you ask? Potentially because we’re completely insane. At least that’s what I’ve asked myself a time or two in the last few weeks.

Two weeks ago we drove to Alcoa Tennessee, 3 1/2 hours away, to pick up a 35 foot fifth wheel that’s nicer than most peoples first (and second) homes. I’ll post some pictures soon, trust me, this thing won’t suck to live in. So, our developing plan is to sell the house we built ourselves, and move into a 400 square foot camper for the foreseeable future. Because we built the house ourselves we don’t have a ton in it, so we should be able to make a modest profit from the sale. That will go to pay off half to two-thirds of our consumer debt. However, that’s not the sole reason for this decision… we both realize that you only have one life, however cheesy that may sound. We want to focus on experiences, see things, travel. We’ve decided that we’ve made all the unique memories that will be made on this hill, and now we want to see what else we can get into.

This is something we’ve talked about for a while, it’s a plan that’s been slowing unveiling itself over the last few years. It started as casual conversations including phrases like ‘wouldn’t that be cool’ and ‘oh yea, one day!’. Then there were RV shows and more solid dreams laid out. Then last year we bought a used pull behind travel trailer from friends and actually went camping… turns out it’s every bit as awesome as we imagined. So as is our tendency, this plan has now started to snowball, has taken shape very quickly in the last few months, and now I’m really getting excited about what the future holds. I’m also proud, because unlike lots of people who say they want to change their lives and never do, we’re determined to change ours. And ours is pretty damn good right now, so I can’t wait to see what happens when we re-engineer it.

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